Mercedes-Benz is presently developing a new front-engined supercar, meant to compete with the Audi R8 and the rest of the gang. Less luxurious and more performance oriented, the future Mercedes SLC will be a serious threat for the Ferraris and Porches of the next decade.
Several Mercedes-Benz test mules that point that the German manufacturer has in works a new supercar have been spotted. The best guess is that the mules are early variants of the highly anticipated SLC.
Although, initially, there were rumors surrounding the car that suggested a mid-engine layout (the necessary thing to compete against Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo or the Audi R8), it appears that the SLC will have a front positioned power unit.
Mercedes is sticking with their traditional approach, with a front longitudinal engine and rear wheel drive, because it is in their field of expertise, and can help reduce costs, by sharing some components between the new car and the next SL.
Most likely the power unit will be an AMG V8 displacing over 6 liters and producing around 500 bhp with normal aspiration. A probable turbocharged version could easily reach 700 bhp.
Although the new SLC will share many components with the future SL it will be more performance oriented and use some more expensive lightweight-parts made from carbon fiber.